By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Mark E. Smith, the infamously scowling frontman for post-punk legends the Fall, is a literate, talented lout who simply cannot handle even a limited amount of success. Fall Heads Roll, last year's surprisingly tight (and loud) collection found Smith taking a youthful bunch of scallywags and returning to past glories. The follow-up, Post T.L.C. Reformation, is a quickly recorded hodgepodge of riffs and rants pieced together in Los Angeles following last year's tour, a collection of typically under-rehearsed garage rock that follows Smith's pattern of good shit followed by bad.
That's not to say the new effort doesn't have its moments. "Over! Over!" and "Reformation!" feature some of the same apocalyptic raving and crunching power chords that made Fall Heads Roll so enjoyable. Yet where the high-end production served the previous effort, the utter lack thereof on this disc creates a morass that even the sharp-tongued Smith cannot talk-sing his way out of. But for the faithful, these are but small quibbles. With nearly 80 releases (some legit, others questionable) available, Smith continues to do things his own way, recording his every utterance as if the future depended upon it. And who knows? It just might.
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